Richard Cecil

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Richard Cecil (-1552)

Copyright 2006, Will Johnson,, Professional Genealogist, All Rights Reserved

Richard Cecil was a resident of Burleigh in the parish of Stamford Baron St Martin, Northamptonshire. His father David, rose in favor under King VIII of England Henry VIII, becoming high sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1529 and 1530, and died in 1541.

Richard too was a courtier. I have found no document yet which gives me an age or birthyear or date for Richard Cecil, however in 1517 he was a royal page; in 1520 he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; he rose to be groom of the robes and constable of Warwick Castle. He was high sheriff of Rutland in 1539, and was one of those who received no inconsiderable share of the plunder of the monasteries. He married Jane Heckington, daughter and heiress of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincolnshire. He had only one son, William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520-1598), but three daughters.

He sent his son William to the grammar schools of Stamford and Grantham, and in 1535 William entered St. John's College, Cambridge. Academically a success, William ran afoul of his father, when his heart was lost to Mary Cheke, daughter of a local widow, with only a fortune of 40 pounds to recommend her. William was immediately removed before he could take his degree, and was entered as a student at Gray's Inn in 1541. If the motive was to prevent a marriage, it failed. Two months after he came up to London, William married Mary, probably secretly. Thomas, the future Earl of Exeter and only fruit of this union was born at Cambridge on 5 May 1542, therefore presumably at his grandmother's house. The marriage was so distateful to Richard, that he is said to have altered his will, or at any rate, to have intended to do so. But the young wife did not live long, dying on 22 Feb 1544.

When Richard died 19 Mar 1552/3 ("The Cecil Family, pg 12"), he left an ample estate behind him in the counties of Rutland, Northamptonshire and elsewhere. He died at his house in Cannon Row and was buried at St. Margaret's, Westminster.

Richard's widow Jane died in 10 March 1587/8. "Complete Peerage, Burghley, pg 428"

Of Richard's daughters, Anne (also called Agnes) married Thomas White of Tuxford, Notts.; Margaret married Roger Cave and secondly Ambrose Smith; and Elizabeth married Robert Wingfield secondly Hugh Allington.

Original documents

Secondary sources

Further reading

The Cecil Family, by George Ravenscroft Dennis

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